Medieval Maps: Mapping a Gulf, Punctum Caecum series, 2016

Medieval Maps: Mapping a Gulf, Punctum Caecum series, 2016

above: 10th c. Persian Gulf Map; detail

Mapping a Gulf: The Persian Gulf and Tour of The Persian Gulf Album
Punctum Caecum series, 2016

Mapping a Gulf: The Persian Gulf Map and Tour of The Persian Gulf Album prints explore the history of territorial boundaries of the Persian Gulf regions through medieval maps of the masalik al-mamalik “Traditions of Countries” manuscript and the photographic album, Tour of the Persian Gulf, 1916-18. Tour of the Persian Gulf is the photographic album of a British explorer, Rev. Edwin Aubrey Storrs-Fox, who resided in the area to drill oil. In these prints, I am looking at how the body of water, otherwise known as the Persian Gulf, was portrayed in medieval Persian maps, which was drawn by Estakhri, the 10th c. Persian cartographer. The Persian Gulf is an important and strategic body of water, which lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. I convert the Persian Gulf maps and the human figures of the Tour of the Persian Gulf photos into black silhouettes. By juxtaposing the black silhouettes that emerge from both the album and the maps, I allude to the politicized aspect of such mappings and recordings of the Gulf and aim to create a visual history of this strategic body of water. In these prints, the color black symbolizes oil and the Persian Gulf water is portrayed as both black and turquoise colors as a result.

C-_Users_pantea_Desktop_2015-website_Punctum-Caecum_Screenprints-on-paper_estakhri-maps-and-history-timeline

Mapping a Gulf: The Persian Gulf Maps with History Timelines, 2016, silkscreen on paper, 30″×22″
After Estakhri’s 10th c. Persian Gulf maps
Above: Estakhri’s Persian Gulf maps and the islands around it, from the masalik al-mamalik “Traditions of Countries” manuscript, 10th c.
Below: My black silhouettes of Estakhri’s maps and a history timelines of the Persian Gulf, 625 BC-19th c.

The-two-terquise-maps-side-by-side-1

The-two-terquise-maps-side-by-side-2psd

Mapping a Gulf: The Persian Gulf Map and Tour of The Persian Gulf Album, 2016, silkscreen on paper, each 30″x 22″

all 4 monoprint and silkscreen

Mapping a Gulf: The Persian Gulf Map and Tour of The Persian Gulf Album, 2016
Silkscreen on paper and mono-print on acetate, each 30″ x 22″
After Estakhri’s 10th c. Persian Gulf map and 19th c. Rev. Edwin Aubrey Storrs-Fox’s photographic album

Existence of a Map, 2016, video projection

Mapping a Gulf, 2016, Silkscreen on plastic, size variable

Research:

two gulf maps

Persian Gulf maps, The Islamic Document Museum
masalik al-mamalik “Traditions of Countries” manuscript, 10th c, by Estakhri
Tehran, Iran, January 2016

The-Gulf-Map-smaller-size

Estakhri’s 10th c. Persian Gulf maps and The Islamic Document Museum
masalik al-mamalik “Traditions of Countries” manuscript
Tehran, Iran, January 2016

4 photos from the Album

Tour of The Persian Gulf Album, Rev. Edwin Aubrey Storrs-Fox, 1916-18, Gulf regions, Iran
Courtesy of Qatar Digital Library